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PICK YOUR POISON: Your Highness’ Hoogheid

Bands, festivals and the lot are releasing branded booze by the dozens these days. GRIMM makes it its mission to get to the bottom (of the bottle) of this trend with insightful reviews and extra backgrounds. So sit back, PICK YOUR POISON, and discover all you need to know about your favorite band's alcoholic brands!

Poison Fact Sheet

  • Poison name: Hoogheid
  • Poison Style: beer - Belgian Strong Golden Ale
  • ABV: 9%
  • IBU: 80

 

Let's return to our home country Belgium for our next tasting. And today's poison is 100% Belgian. We have the bulldozer band Your Highness, hailing from Antwerp, who is growing in popularity with good reason as this sludge outfit is taking the Belgian stages by storm. Combine this with the Vleesmeester Brewery from Boechout (close to Antwerp), a small brewery who combines their personal interest in the Belgian cultural scene with a refined taste in beer. We present you 'Hoogheid', a beer named after the final track on the band's debut album Cults 'N' Cunts (2011).

Tasting

Poured in our glass we have a firm, long lasting white head on top of a hazy orange beer. There was some yeast sediment from the bottom that slipped into our glass causing it to have a slightly cloudy appearance. The mouth feel is quite full for a Belgian blond and has low to medium carbonation. The aroma is fruity with mostly tropical yellow fruits like mango or pineapple. The first sip is less strong than expected. The 9% ABV does not push through at all. The bitterness appears only later on and is quite mild. In between you have the fruitiness returning with a wealth of different esters. We sense tropical fruits, mandarin, dried peaches and somewhere some 'peperkoek' or spiced cake. The beer has a beautiful balance between the spicy sweetness and its light bitterness.

While doing our research for the beer we got confused because the pre-2016 version of the beer was termed 'Hoogheid IPA'. While the beer definitely has a hoppy touch near the end, we didn't want to go as for as labeling it as an (imperial) IPA. So since we always go to the bottom of the bottle for our investigations we inquired with Vleesmeester Brewery themselves. They were so kind to shed some light on the issue:

This beer is originally brewed for the release of the 2014 split album of Your Highness and Hedonist, where it was poured for the first time. Your Highness took our recipe to 't Hofbrouwerijke to produce the beer on a larger scale and distributed it under the name of Hoogheid IPA.

Because of the large success and since the gentlemen of Your Highness didn't want to remain brewers they inquired if we wanted to continue this project. We had it brewed by 't Hofbrouwerijke once more after which we transferred to brewery Anders! to acquire a somewhat larger production scale. Here Hoogheid is still being brewed.

Because the style of IPA did not quite fit this beer in our opinion - and we actually still think it is difficult to label it with a specific style - we decided to omit this from the name. IPA's are linked mostly to hoppy and dry beer and Hoogheid is more than that. Hoogheid has the hoppiness of an IPA, but still also features a full body that some IPA’s ‘Belgian Strong Ales’ have. So the truth is somewhere in between, but there is no exact style description for this.

We can definitely agree on this style description. Hoogheid anno 2017 is an out of the box strong golden ale that goes down deceivingly easy despite its 9% ABV. So drink it with care! For those of you who were lucky enough to try the beer before, be sure to give the updated version a taste as well. You won't be disappointed.
 
Packaging
 
The bottle clearly mentions the beer is co-created with the band Your Highness. Left and right you spot the logo of both partners. In between we see a figure staring with bright white eyes on a black background. It's his headpiece that distinguishes him as royalty as he wears a turban ornamented with a gem stone and feather. For our non-Dutch speaking readers who did not realize it yet: Hoogheid is simply the Dutch translation of 'highness'! None of the labels of the different Vleesmeester's brews are similar in style as they like to recruit guest artists for the artworks. So be sure to also check out their 'Bittere Bloemen' and 'Jour de Fête' beers. And while you are inspecting the drawings, enjoy the beers as well!
 
 
We look forward to serve you this "heavy, hoppy, rockin' beer" as beer of the month in our own Jeugdhuis Asgaard in the month of June!

Goes Best With...

Originally brewed for the release of the split EP of Your Highness and Hedonist, we recommend you to drink this amazing beer with an equally heavy track of that same EP!

Reviews

  • Aroma8
  • Look9
  • Taste9
  • Packaging8
  • Originality9
  • 8.6

    Score

    A Belgian strong golden ale that is difficult to put in one class of beer types with a great tropical fruit character and slight bitter that'll be enjoyed by people who like IPA even though not being one.